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Bill To Ban Employers From Gaining Workers' Facebook Passwords

The Maryland General Assembly has passed a bill that forbids employers in the state to ask workers and potential employees for their social network passwords as a condition of employment.

The bill has yet to be signed into law by Governor Martin O'Malley and it remains unclear if he will do so.

This law would give workers and jobseekers the right to refuse requests made by employers for login information to social networking sites. Employers would not be allowed to ask for usernames and passwords from sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

It would also protect workers and jobseekers from any disciplinary actions employers may take in retaliation to a denied request.

If this bill is signed, it would become the first social media privacy protection law in the United States. The legislation moved through both Maryland's house and senate without hindrance.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Charles Schumer, both federal lawmakers, recently brought this disturbing practice by employers to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission for investigation.

"Requiring applicants to provide log-in credentials to secure social media websites and then using those credentials to access private information stored on those sites may be unduly coercive and therefore constitute unauthorised access under both SCA and the CFAA," the two lawmakers wrote in an open letter last month.

Source: Computerworld (opens in new tab)